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Thread: What does "Mustering" mean in a Service Record?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
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    Default What does "Mustering" mean in a Service Record?

    I am working my way through my grandfather's RAF service record, and I do not quite understand the mustering columns. Does A.F.C. stand for something other than Air Force Cross? Something to do with a trade?

    Thank you for any insight, Fiona

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Reading, Berkshire, UK
    Thanked 17 Times in 17 Posts


    A Muster Roll was the list of people (both Officers and ORs) assigned to any particualr Unit. When the Unit was 'Mustered' all the personnel were 'ticked off' against the list. Any missing were AWOL (Absent With Out Leave) - but in Army Units in battle any not answering the (daily) Muster Roll might be expected to have been killed, injured(and in hospital), or taken PoW. In the RAF everybody had to be somewhere - i.e. on some Unit's Muster Roll. I suspect that it is still so today (but for Muster Roll read 'a file in a computer'!!). The last time I did a Muster Roll was in Cyprus during the Turkish invasion. And then only for those who still elected to receive their pay in cash! Muster Rolls have been going since Tudor times. Yet another Great British Tradition now, sadly, dispensed with!!
    Peter Davies
    Meteorology is a science; good meteorology is an art!
    We might not know - but we might know who does!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Christchurch, New Zealand
    Thanked 7 Times in 7 Posts


    Herewith some definitions from KR&ACI (King's Regualtions and Air Council Instructions) which you may find of some asistance in interpreting service records.. These defintions are from the 1937 edition, amended up to 1941.
    David D

    EXTENSION, PROLONGATION AND RE-ENGAGEMENT:- “Extension” is used, in relation to alterations of airmen’s engagements, when the altered period of service (i.e., continuous service since last attestation) to be completed does not exceed 12 years, “prolongation” when it exceeds 12 years but less than 24 years, and “re-engagement” when it is 24 years.

    INVALIDED:- When used in relation to an airman, will be held to mean “discharged as medically unfit for further service.” When used in relation to an officer, it will be held to mean “retired or gazetted out of the service as medically unfit for further service.”

    MUSTERING:- The term used to denote the rank, group and trade in which an airman is placed on joining the Royal Air Force, or (for an apprentice) on passing out of a training establishment. (Note that the word “group” in this sentence refers to “Trade Group”, which was a guide to skill level of the trade and consequent pay rates, etc). Amendment List No. 72 also added the words “or a boy entrant” within the brackets after the words “for an apprentice”.

    OFFICER i/c RECORDS:- This term includes the A.O.C. Mediterranean in so far as concerns the records of Maltese airmen or ex-airmen.

    PROMOTION:- The term used to denote a rise in substantive rank. It therefore does not apply to an aircraftman, 2nd class, rising to aircraftman 1st class, or an aircraftman, 1st class, rising to leading aircraftman. (See Re-classification).

    RE-CLASSIFICATION:- The term used to denote any transition, either upwards or downwards, between the three classes (aircraftmen, 2nd or 1st class, or leading aircraftman) of aircraftmen.

    REDUCTION:- The term used to denote the compulsory placing of a substantive or temporary warrant officer or N.C.O. in a lower substantive rank, or in the ranks, by sentence of court martial or by other competent authority.

    REMUSTERING:- The term used to denote a change in the trade of an airman.

    REVERSION:- The term used to denote:-
    (i) the return of a warrant officer or acting warrant officer or N.C.O. or acting N.C.O. to a lower rank, or class in the ranks, either compulsorily, automatically or voluntarily. Reversions may be from substantive, temporary or acting rank.
    (ii) Also, where the context so requires, the return of an airman to his basic or former trade on relinquishment of a non-substantive additional mustering. In this event no loss of rank is normally involved. (Note, various airmen in the wartime RAF frequently volunteered for aircrew duty and this required temporary promotion to the rank of Sergeant for the period of this duty once they had qualified in this “secondary” trade, such as Air Gunner or Flight Engineer. Such airmen, frequently technical tradesman, would revert to their substantive rank and trade at the end of their period of aircrew duty.)

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